Baton Rouge-August 16, 2017- The USSSA Pride are heading into the 2017 NPF Championship Series as the number one seed and looking for their fourth NPF Championship Series title. It’s a position they’ve been in before, back-to-back regular season champions following a dominating regular season run, but the real test begins tomorrow.
The NPF Championship Series is a different stage, a new season, and everyone is 0-0 ready to give it their all in hopes of hoisting the Cowles Cup at the end of the season. The Pride are familiar with the championship stage but are still looking for their fourth Cowles Cup since 2014 when they were crowned back-to-back champions. The Pride are hungry for the title, something apparent throughout the 2017 season, never letting up and playing their absolute best until their final game of the regular season, but they’re ready to take on this next challenge and bring a championship to Viera.
Without a doubt, the Pride dominated the regular season, finishing 40-9, nine games ahead of the Scrap Yard Dawgs in second place, winning the NPF regular season title for the fourth consecutive year while dominating the league offensively and defensively. Collectively, the Pride lead in all but three offensive categories spearheaded by the great Kelly Kretschman who finished her 12th season batting .500, an all-time NPF best, while leading the league in hits (58), on-base percentage (.623) and slugging percentage (.793). Shelby Pendley had an impressive summer as well, leading the NPF in home runs (13) with 31 hits, 32 runs and a .567 slugging percentage. As a team, the Pride brought in 235 RBI, 255 runs, .401 hits and 56 HR while the Pride pitching staff finished with a 1.6 ERA and 272 strikeouts.
The NPF Championship series kicks off with the annual banquet awards tonight at 8:00PM (ET), hosted live on NPFTV. The NPF Banquet is an annual awards show where the 2017 All-NPF team will be announced and individual awards such as Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year will be rewarded to the best performers of the 2017 season.
The quest for the Pride’s fourth Cowles Cup begins Thursday, August 17, with a match-up against the number four seed, the Chicago Bandits in Baton Rouge, LA. The game is set for a 5:00PM (ET) start time. The Pride will then face the Chicago Bandits for game two on August 18 at 8:00PM (ET) . Both games will be hosted at Tiger Park, home of the LSU Tigers, and brings back former LSU great Bianka Bell who became the fastest player to reach 100 career RBI in program history while also finishing as one of the best hitters the LSU program has ever seen.
All week long, softball fans can watch all of the action at home available on three separate media outlets: NPFTV, MLB.com and The Olympic Channel (TOC). All of the games will be called by Eric Collins and Barb Jordan. Fans are also encouraged to interact with all NPF social media outlets with the hashtag #Series2017. Tickets to the 2017 NPF Championship Series are available for purchase at profastpitch.com.